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Gunman loses sentence plea

PUBLISHED: 15:07 10 December 2009 | UPDATED: 14:48 24 August 2010

A TEENAGE gunman who shot a peacemaker in the head who had stepped in to stop a fight has failed to have his jail sentence reduced. Craig Robinson, 18, of Napier Road, Harlesden, left Valdemar Andrade fighting for his life after he shot him in his head d

A TEENAGE gunman who shot a peacemaker in the head who had stepped in to stop a fight has failed to have his jail sentence reduced.

Craig Robinson, 18, of Napier Road, Harlesden, left Valdemar Andrade fighting for his life after he shot him in his head during a scuffle outside Jet Set nightclub on Harlesden High Street, Harlesden, at 5am on March 2 last year.

In June this year, Robinson admitted attempted murder, possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and wounding with intent.

He received a indefinite term of Detention for Public Protection (DPP), or a nine-year minimum 'tariff' to serve, before he can even apply for release on parole.

Last week at the Criminal Court of Appeal, lawyers for Robinson argued that he should never have a DPP which is almost identical to a life term as those serving them are only freed when they are deemed to be no longer a danger to the public.

They added the sentence was 'manifestly excessive.'

But, Mr Justice Irwin, sitting with Lord Justice Moses and Mr Justice Edwards-Stuart, said that the 19-year-old had effectively given his victim a life sentence, from which there could be no parole, because he had been left paralysed by the attack.

At Robinson's trial in Harrow Crown Court jurors heard Robinson, who was just 17 at the time, and Daniel Simpson, 20, of Waldo Road, Harlesden, had become embroiled in an argument with a friend of Mr Andrade's following a previous row which had taken place eight days earlier.

During the exchange of words, Mr Andrade and his friend tried to walk away after Robinson hinted he had a gun. But Robinson produced a converted semi-automatic pistol, ran after the victim's friend and hit him across the head with the handle of the gun.

A struggle ensued in which Mr Andrade was shot three times in the head as he intervened.

Both men fled in a stolen car driven by Simpson.

Mr Andrade, a 22-year-old DJ, was left fighting for his life and now needs 24-hour care around the clock due to his permanent disabilities.

Simpson admitted actual bodily harm and was sentenced to six months in jail.

Speaking after Robinson was sentenced, Detective Inspector, Dave Rock, from Operation Trident, the Met's specialist team that investigates gun crime, said: "The sickening manner in which Craig Robinson shot Valdemar Andrade defies belief, especially when you consider that he had stepped in to help his friend and act as a peacemaker in order to resolve a dispute.

"Mr Andrade now receives daily specialist care and his life will never be the same again. He spent five months in intensive care and has undergone complicated neurosurgery.

"To this day, the bullet that nearly cost him his life remains imbedded in his brain as it too dangerous to remove.

"He is now completely dependent on his family and requires around the clock attention.


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